Accidental Hero (1992)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples (Story)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Kevin J O’Connor, Maury Chaykin, Stephen Tobolowsky

 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.


Tagline – We’re all heroes if you catch us at the right moment. Even Bernie LaPlante.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Not Funny Enough

 

Story: Accidental Hero starts as we meet Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) who is facing jail time for his streetwise action, he is trying to talk himself out of jail time, without much success. We also meet reporter Gale (Davis) who has just received an award for her work even if her boss isn’t given her the chances she has earnt.

When the plane carrying Gale crash lands, Bernie happens to be next to accident, he ends up saving everybody on board, before vanishing into the night. When Gale wants to make the story out of the event, a fellow homeless man John Bubber (Garcia) takes credit, who wants to use his new-found fame to help the homeless, while Bernie is left in jail watching the events unfold.

 

Thoughts on Accidental Hero

 

Characters – Bernie LaPlante is a homeless man that has blown his successful life out the water, he lost his wife, most of his time with his son and is facing jail, he knows how to survive and push the limits to make sure he survives on the street, with his car being his home. He ends up doing an act of greatness, saving the passengers on a plane, but not wanting the praise for this, until a monetary reward comes up, he must figure out how to prove it was him. Gale is a reporter on the rise in the business, she is receiving an award, while still fighting her time on the big screen, she makes a story out of the plane crash, which sees her take a homeless man to celebrity status. John Bubber is a homeless man that decides to come forward and claim the reward for being the hero, he soon becomes the talk of the town that would inspire many into doing the right thing.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman is the right man for the job because he fits the unlikely hero that has been through the struggles in life. Geena Davis is fun in the role that sums up the struggle women would have in the professional field. Andy Garcia goes through the biggest change which sees him doing everything to live with the new fame.

StoryThe story follows a reporter who wants to make the hero of a plane crash rescue known to the people they saved, only for the real person behind it all, not getting the game after a fake takes the limelight. This does pain the picture of faster acting celebrities coming from such simple ideas of rescuing somebody, people struggling with new fame and how people are quick to just judge anybody that might be helping others out. Strangely enough this is one of the stories that could really become more appealing in the social media heavy world we now live in and would be an interesting one to see reach new level.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film doesn’t come off, it never feels like a film you could have a giggle about anything happening, the romance is strange because it just doesn’t give us a believable one either.

SettingsThe settings show us just how the big city can capture a story which would make an unknown a celebrity over night.


Scene of the Movie –
The balcony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of comedy in the comedy film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lacklustre romantic comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it could and actually feels like it could be one film that makes a bigger impact now.

 

Overall: Stuck between too many genres.

Rating

 

 

Kurt Russell Weekend – Soldier (1998)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaac, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee

 

Plot: A soldier is dumped on a waste disposal planet and lives among a community of crash survivors on the planet and takes it upon himself to defend his new home when genetic engineered soldiers are ordered to eliminate the crash survivors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Universal Soldier, Wait No

 

Story: Soldier starts in a world where the military select babies to train into emotionless soldiers, Todd 3465 (Russell) is the best of the first batch of trained men but when Colonel Mekum (Isaacs) starts genetically creating his super soldiers with his star being Caine 607 (Lee), Todd finds himself defeat and dumped on a waste disposal planet.

On this planet Todd is taken in by a community that live there after they crash landed but soon his skills make him a threat to even them, forcing him to leave and become the lone traveller on the planet. This quiet group gets ambushed by the Colonel on a clean-up mission leaving Todd to defend the innocent from his replacements.

 

Thoughts on Solider

 

Characters – Todd 3465 is an emotionless soldier trained from a baby to be the best in the field, he doesn’t say much but when he gets replaced he finds himself using his training to protect the innocent. Caine 607 is the new genetically advanced soldier who has replaced Todd, he is faster, stronger and deadlier than Todd. Colonel Mekum is the man that has bought out the replacements to deal with the bigger problems in the universe, not caring about the original models.

PerformanceKurt Russell is solid in this role, he got himself into shape for it but in the 90s the action stars were more physical presence while Russell doesn’t get the full chance to be the guy we know from the 80s. Jason Scott Lee is solid too in his performance, he has the look of the typical enemy our hero must face in combat to achieve his redemption. Jason Isaacs will always be a good choice for a military role and often finds himself working with this director.

StoryThe story is simple to follow, we have modified soldiers that have been replaced by the newest models and the older model must use his skills to defend the people who took him in against the new and improved model. It is a simple story it does feel like Universal Soldier for the most part too.

Action/Sci/FiThe action sequences are mostly the generic ones we have come to know from the soldier versus soldier film but nothing stands out. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the idea the soldiers are trained and built to fight in a futuristic war.

SettingsTh settings are easy to use with most being used in the montage to show Todd’s war record, the most part of the film is on a waste planet which puts our characters on the world there are desperate to escape.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects are fine but parts of them have dated through the years.

Scene of the Movie – Todd versus the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a Universal Soldier rip off.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch action film that does feel like just another branch of the Universal Soldier universe.

 

Overall: Easy to watch actioner.

Rating

 

 

Blade Runner (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Philip K Dick (Novel)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hanna, William Sanderson

 

Plot: A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.


Tagline – A chilling, bold, mesmerizing, futuristic detective thriller.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Iconic Classic

 

Story: Blade Runner starts in the 21st century where humans have created replicants to work off world in hazardous condition, but when a mutiny makes them free they become illegal on Earth where Blade Runners hunt them down killing them on sight in a process known as retirement not execution.

When four replicants Roy Batty (Hauer), Pris (Hannah), Leon (James) and Zhora (Cassidy) return to Earth Bryant (Walsh) brings Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Ford) into track them down. With newer models being developed like Rachael (Young) tracking down the replicants is becoming harder for Deckard but with him being the best in the business he must use all his experience to stop them causing anymore problems in the world.

 

Thoughts on Blade Runner

 

Characters – Rick Deckard is the Blade Runner, well one of them, the best of them, he keeps to himself for the most part but when a job becomes too serious, Deckard is the man to clean up by hunting down the replicants. He does have a moral compass when it comes to dealing with the upgraded Rachael who doesn’t seem to be a threat but when dealing with the others it will be his hardest test. Roy Batty is the leader of the escaped replicants, he only wants to find a way for his replicants to extended their lives and is filled with philosophical ideas. Racheal is the upgraded replicant that is being kept secret until she goes on the run with on Deckard to protect her from retirement. We also have the other replicants looking for freedom in their own way as well as the people who want Deckard to hunt them down.

PerformancesHarrison Ford gives us a performance that does against everything we were expecting from his Han Solo and Indiana Jones days where he plays the serious character in the bleak look at the future. Rutger Hauer gives us one of the best villainous performance of any film, he is haunting with his lines and deadly with his fights. Sean Young is good in the film too as the learning replicant. There isn’t a single weak performance in this movie which is always good to see.

StoryThe story shows how the androids created known as replicants only want to survive and be treated equal in a world that will not accept them. We watch the one man try to hunt down the escaped replicants before they hurt anymore innocent people. This is a noir thriller that keeps us guessing the in bleak sci-fi world that has a story without many twists which keeps the story flowing in the one direction needed.

Sci-FiWhen this was released sci-fi was all aliens and space travel but this showed us a future, a bleak future reliant on technology for the people, it showed us how the world could look in the future.

SettingsThis is a visual treat for the settings, it takes us into the future where we see the world we could one day be living in.

Special EffectsThe effects still stand the test of time because of the visual look at the world we are finding out characters in with the technology designed for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
I always like the final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Deciding which cut to watch.

Chances of Sequel: We have one now.

Budget: $28 Million

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that inspired a generation of film makers, it broke boundaries and became one of the all-time classics in cinema.

 

Overall: Classic we can never get bored off.

Rating

 

 

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

mmonkeysDirector: Terry Gilliam

Writer: David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe, David Morse, Christopher Plummer

 

Plot: In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic of Time Travel Genre

 

Story: Twelve Monkeys starts as we learn 7 billion people died thanks to virus released and the animals have taken control of the planet once more. The remaining humans live underground and we follow James Cole (Willis) a prisoner who is assigned to visit the surface before being selected to visit the past to try and stop the virus outbreak.

When James is sent back to 1990 he finds himself being set to a mental institute thanks to the doctor Kathryn Railly (Stowe) who sees his ramblings of a mad man as he searches for the army of the 12 monkeys. On his time in the mental home he meets the eccentric Jeffrey Goines (Pitt) who has to show him around and preach his beliefs.

Failing on his first mission Cole gets sent back again and again until he works with Kathryn to uncover the truth behind the secrets of the twelve monkeys and the virus who destroyed the world.

Twelve Monkeys gives us a time travel movie that is also plays out as a virus outbreak that has happened. We get a time travel story that does try to solve the mystery of how the virus came about as we have to put together loose clues sent back. The mystery is great to see how it gets solved even though we get a false lead for most of the film. There are certain moments in the film which could have given us more mystery for example one big side to the story is whether Cole is sane or not and there is never a doubt that he has time travelled and I believe creating that doubt could add another dimension to this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Bruce Willis: James Cole comes from the future to try and uncover the truth about a virus which wiped out humanity while he was just a child. Each time he returns he uncovers more clues working with doctor Kathryn Railly they search for the answers to what will create the future where humans have been whittled down to 1%. Bruce is great showing how he can work the more serious roles stepping away from the action genre.

Madeleine Stowe: Kathryn Railly is a psychologist that has been treated Cole on his first visit only for when he disappears. When he returns she finds herself believing everything and working with him to save the human race. Madeleine is a good supporting character working with Bruce very well.

Brad Pitt: Jeffrey Goines is the leader of the army of the twelve monkeys who is going against his powerful father that has been experimenting on animals but is he the guy that released the virus? Brad gives us a performance that did truly break him out of the current roles of a pretty boy he had been making his name in.

David Morse: Dr Peters works for the animal trials where he gets close up information on what the monkeys are receiving making him just as much of a suspect as Jeffrey. David is only just a supporting role but he does well in the few scenes he has.

Support Cast: Twelve Monkeys has a supporting cast which interact with our main cast with the strange scientists in the future who are Terry Gilliam written all over them.

Director Review: Terry GilliamTerry unique style is all over this fil even with the most important part of the film coming off serious we get small elements which keep this being his own work.

 

Mystery: Twelve Monkeys keeps us wondering throughout the film to where the virus really came from even though the element of time travel will always stick to the fact he was a time traveller.

Sci-Fi: Twelve Monkeys has the idea that the world has been destroyed by a virus as well as having time travel shows the sci-fi side of the story.

Settings: Twelve Monkeys keeps the past and present looking very different so we can easily tell the two apart from Cole’s journeys.
Special Effects
: Twelve Monkeys has good effects when needed without turning to them too often.

Suggestion: Twelve Monkeys is one I suggest everyone who is into time travel to watch at least once to see if they can understand the spin on an outbreak film. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The time travel spin on a virus film.

Worst Part: You may need a couple of viewings to understand parts of the film

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars.

Box Office: $57 Million

Budget: $29 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

Tagline: The future is history

 

Overall: One of the best mind-bending time travel films out there.

Ratingtwelve